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«Spectator»-Type Periodicals in International Perspective

Enlightened Moral Journalism in Europe and North America

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Edited By Misia Sophia Doms

As soon as the Spectator model spread from England to continental Europe and began to be incorporated in French, Dutch and German translations and adaptions, the respective journalistic networks and negotiations regularly exceeded local, regional, and even national boundaries and took on international dimensions. The contributions of the present volume outline the historical development and the intricate literary, artistic, journalistic and scientific communication and distribution networks of the moral weeklies and periodical essays inspired by the Spectator prototype in Europe and North America. Thus, these periodicals become visible as parts and products of ramified learned and creative negotiations on genres, writing techniques and topics.

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The Spectatorial Press in Italian.

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Case Study: The Beginning of Spectatorial Writing in Italy in the Gazzetta Veneta

Abstract: The contribution focusses on the earliest autonomous forms of Spectator-type periodicals in the Italian peninsula and, specifically, in Venice around the mid-18th century. Its main focus lies on the Gazzetta Veneta (1760–1762), a periodical issued by the Venetian count Gasparo Gozzi (1713–1789). During the second year of its publication period (1761–1762), after Gozzi’s resignation, the editorship of the Gazzetta passes to the abbot and novelist Pietro Chiari, who changes the style of this journalistic venture.

Keywords: Italian Spectator-type periodicals, Venetian journalism, spectatorial writing techniques

A certain new editorial fervour arises in Venice – an urban environment principally dedicated to maritime trade and a privileged destination for European travellers – around the year 1760. The city features both a widespread circulation of newspapers and books, and a port open to influences from all over the world.1 Reflecting the motto of the Roman poet, Horace, which had first been adopted by the essay-periodicals produced under the direction of Addison and Steele in England in the early 1700s, the novel sheets from the city of the Lion of Saint Mark focus on providing readers both with delight and moral education. Among the typical characteristics of the English prototypes that were adopted – in a more or less accentuated form – by these Venetian newspapers of the mid-18th century were:

– the presence of a number of personae (first and foremost, the gazetteer and...

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